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Achilles heel of HIV found
Mon-Mage | July 17, 2008 at 02:13 pmby
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HOUSTON: Scientists in the United States believe they have uncovered the Achilles heel in the armour of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), a development that may be useful in the treatment and prevention of the infection that continues to kill millions around the world.
Researchers led by Sudhir Paul at The University of Texas Medical School, Houston, believe that they have found the weak spot of the virus, a tiny stretch of amino acids numbered 421-433 on gp120, which is now under study as a target for therapeutic intervention.
"Unlike the changeable regions of its envelope, HIV needs at least one region that must remain constant to attach to cells. If this region changes, HIV cannot infect cells," said Paul, who is lead author on a paper linked to this theory in the June issue of the journal Autoimmunity Reviews.
Additional data on the theory are to be presented at the XVII International AIDS Conference from August 3-8 in Mexico City.
The team led by Paul has engineered antibodies with enzymatic activity, also known as abzymes, which can attack the Achilles heel of the virus in a precise way, the Science Daily reported.
It would be really interesting to see more details about what they've truly found at the XVII International AIDS conference. After numerous scientists have touted temporary cures to HIV as the solution to HIV, we might finally get an answer to HIV that is a more permanent cure.